(REUTERS) -- ATLANTA - Eight former Atlanta public school educators were ordered on Tuesday to serve between one and seven years in prison in one of the nation's largest test-cheating scandals.
Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter gave three of the 11 educators who were convicted of racketeering this month 20-year sentences, ordering that seven years must be served in prison and the rest on probation.
Five more educators received five-year sentences, with two ordered to serve two years in prison and three to serve one year.
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"There were thousands of children that were harmed in this thing," Baxter said during the hearing, after getting into heated exchanges with attorneys for the defendants. "It’s like the sickest thing that’s ever happened to this town," he later said.